Lael Brainard, a member of the Federal Reserve board of governors, could be Joe Biden’s top pick for the Treasury secretary role if he should win this year's U.S. presidential election.
- According to a report from Bloomberg Thursday, Brainard is seen as someone who would appeal to both Wall Street and progressives.
- Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is also being considered, is seen as too progressive for Wall Street, nine individuals "familiar with the candidates and Biden's thinking" told Bloomberg.
- Biden is also said to be keen to pick a woman for the role – a historic move, as the Treasury secretary has always been a white male.
- The presidential hopeful seeks a secretary who would help drive the economic recovery after the knock from the coronavirus pandemic and avoid dividing Democrats, per the report.
- One Bloomberg source said Brainard would prefer the role of Federal Reserve chair, but would accept the Treasury secretary role if asked.
- While she may appease conservatives on Wall Street, Brainard is progressive when it comes to technology, having been involved with the Fed's efforts to research a digital dollar.
- She has made several announcements on the ongoing research into the possible central bank digital currency (CBDC) based on distributed ledger technology.
- She said in August the Fed has been studying for several years what effect a digital currency might have on the payments ecosystem, monetary policy, financial stability and the banking sector.
- "Given the dollar's important role, it is essential that the Federal Reserve remain on the frontier of research and policy development regarding CBDCs," she said at the time.
- An economist told Bloomberg that if Biden were to choose Brainard, it would signal to the markets he "intends to govern as a moderate, not give in to the progressive wing."
- It's not a done deal, however, with ex-Fed Reserve official Roger Ferguson and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic also on the list – both are black men.
- Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former deputy secretary at the Treasury, is also keen on the role, the sources said.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.